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Stargate Origins: Catherine (2018)
Stargate is my favorite scifi series until the next time I am asked the question forget Stargate exists.
Watching this film for free (on Prime video) does give you better perspective: the film is fine.
The timing on the acting is way off, that is about my only criticism of the film.
It won't win any points for visual effects either, but visual effects don't matter in most shows - it's good enough I can understand what's going on.
The fight scenes are appropriately clumsy, as most of the characters aren't intended to be seasoned fighters.
It's campy and fun, and doesn't take itself too seriously. There's a strong Indiana Jones vibe.
The filmmakers did a good job getting the atmosphere right, hitting my stargate buttons and bringing a nostalgia rush.
Does the plot make sense as a stargate prequel? Are there plotholes and continuity issues? Who knows and who cares? Rewatching is for people who don't have 50 other new shows queued.
If you're a snob and hate what they've done to yet another beloved franchise, feel free to overturn applicable local IP laws and then make your own version.
Stargate fans would be lucky if they continued to make more Stargate films like this one.
It's Gawd! (2017)
I was mostly able to follow the plot, I didn't quite get how the main problem/threat was addressed. Aside from being competently made and having a few OK gags, I do have a bias for movies that criticize religion, although none of the serious points made in it is anything new to those familiar with the topic. It is nice to see this type of portrayal of religion in 2017 - it is entertaining and a good way to spend an hour or so for amazon prime members, however it won't change anybody's mind, and is a far cry from a must see.
Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)
Nonsense ethics, bad guy clichés, clean action
Hit-man is about a bio-engineered hit-man who... what? Look. There are problems with the film's storyline. In the beginning, it bears too much resemblance to a video game where there is literally a tutorial mission (sorry, I mean "scene").
Then the film commits what I view as the cardinal sin of having supposedly intelligent bad guys do stupid things, although they do try to justify it with "duh arrogance".
However, the action in this movie is fantastic, and ultimately that is the context this movie should be viewed in. Within the context of bioengineered killers, I am absolutely delighted with the precise (though obviously choreographed) shooting where superhuman shooters dispatch of their enemies cleanly, never missing their shot - which is what I EXPECT to happen if you're telling me some guy is a highly trained magical cyborg unicorn enhanced murderer.
Given that the film is based on a video game, the action happening is consistent with the rules of the universe - no bullet feels unaccounted for by the film-makers.
Where the film really falls short is its discussion of ethics. Bioengineering killers for profit is wrong, obviously, because both greed and murder are wrong. However, while the film manages to depict engineered superhuman abilities as being sometimes worthwhile to have, the dialogue never once considers the possibility that enhancing ordinary people may not be such a bad idea.
Oh yeah, also, ******* Audi product placements. Still overall if you like it when a supposedly perfect killer actually performs perfectly, this is the film to see.
The Equalizer (2014)
Realism, Violence, Intelligence, Perfect Action Movie for all intents and purposes.
When watching action movies, I always wonder if it's even possible to have a film where the hero doesn't make mistakes, and still have it be a entertaining film with suspense. Because, in too many action movies the hero will slip up in a ridiculous way so the story can lead to the inevitable standoff, but that doesn't happen here.
In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington is an ex-Assassin turned "Bourne again" Assassin who does it right. He's an "ordinary" human being with superhuman skills, unleashing violence when persuasion fails to move the bad guys. The fight scenes are really cool, you have the thing where the situation is surveyed in slow motion and then the fighter leaps into action, I always like it when films show this process.
The movie makes you feel intelligent for watching people get brutally murdered, because Robert McCall is a one-man wrecking machine and he must use his wits to turn the tide against the numerous enemies. He may seem impervious at times, but in no way does his continued survival feel forced.
There are a few minor quips I have about the movie though: There's some ridiculously obvious "metaphors" early on in the exposition (about hope etc) that rather annoyed me because its obvious the writers were trying to compare the character dialog to the impending storyline.
I praise Denzel Washington's character, but his success wasn't completely possible without the villains being at least slightly stupid. Simply, the villains make mistakes. Oh well you can't have everything.
Overall though, with its intelligent yet intense and satisfying violence, a rarity of a "perfect" hero and simply overall entertainment, The Equalizer is perhaps the best Action film of 2014 and you'd be doing yourself a disservice to miss it.
I went into this expecting crap, and I guess there are lots of weird things in the film.
For example, it bypasses the language barrier by giving everyone involved the universal translator, and the Chinese characters speak English in distinctly British accents, wtf.
Also, it combines elements of both the Crusades and Chinese Imperial stuff into a single film, which was interesting.
Hayden Christensen punches a woman in the face. I found that funny, considering the nobody made a fit about "violence against women omagazz". Then again, the film does depict lots of women and some children being slaughtered, it probably would've gotten a pg13 for that if the censors got their hands onto it.
The dialog is somewhat cliché, then you also have the white savior cliché in which Nick Cage and Hayden Christensen kick Chinese ass to save Chinese people from other Chinese people, but I'm cool with that. But honestly, the film does in fact fulfill its duty to entertain. There are lots of sword fights, some cool (although anticlimactic) arrow scenes, and a nice supply of blood, but not in a particularly gory way.
The story is somewhat nonsensical, I guess the only defense to that is 'who cares'.
Over all though, it still was kinda FUN, nothing really made me cringe, and the Chinese theme in a non Chinese film is somewhat refreshing. So my final verdict is: 6/10 fun but not particularly memorable.
Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989)
Brilliant black humor
Penn and Teller is a fictional film about how inviting killers to your head on national TV can lead to potential problems, even if you are Penn and Teller.
This film embodies almost everything that is Penn and Teller, because that is what a Penn and Teller film should represent: Penn and Teller. Let's get the bad out of the way first: The acting in the film is decent and comical, but not superb - especially the actors that play the side roles. Of course considering Penn and Teller are magicians whose job is to act in a way that conceals their tricks, their acting is not bad, although it feels like something is missing, especially in the more "emotional" parts of the film.
Also, there's a slight issue with the writing. The film is sort of a mix between comedy and thriller, but the twists are generally somewhat predictable, and a lot of the humor does not cause explosive laughter. Again, the writing is just a wee bit weak, but in my opinion not the main point of the film.
What the point of the film is though is lots of Penn and Teller: The viewer gets to see plenty of magic tricks and how they are done, Penn and Teller make commentary on various forms of superstition, and deliver what is in my opinion the silliest, somewhat apologetic yet quite possibly best ending a film could ever have.
Overall, I would recommend Penn and Teller Get Killed, even if I were on national TV.
The Interview (2014)
Hilarious and entertaining
If you expected serious social commentary, this film has little of that. But by f*ck it was funny.
If you've seen Team America or any comedy short concerning North Korea at all, this film is like that but full length, with lots of cool action, humor and decent acting.
There's some critique of North Korea based on real life facts, but nothing you haven't heard before. But, there are also many jokes and gags expertly interwoven into the plot. Given all the terrorist threats etc surrounding its release, I'd say the film lives up to the hype.
The lead duo consists of an egotistical and stupid but charismatic host of an entertainment show played by James Franco, and his trusty sane sidekick director person played by Seth Rogen, but the star of the show is certainly Randall Park, who albeit doesn't look anything like Kim Jong Un, portrays a heartfelt, charming version of Un not unlike the Il of Team America.
The comedy succeeds more than it fails, and did I mention there are some cool action scenes? Overall, the film is pretty darn good and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to have another good laugh at the abysmal state of North Korea.
Ender's Game (2013)
Repetitive but enjoyable
Plot: Young Eminem (played by Asa Butterfield) is bullied, but he is awesome and bullies the bullies and that is why he is training to become a military commander and kill the alien threat! Look at these cool graphics! I haven't read the book, but I think I understand most of the concepts presented in the film, perhaps because the film doesn't hesitate to repeat itself over and over again. Throughout the film you will clearly see several themes that seem to be repeated for the same number of times, you notice a clear pattern in the bully scenes, and it becomes kinda redundant to show what is essentially the same scene twice. My main problem is that I don't feel any real character development in Ender: It's not like Ender learns something mid-film to help him repel the bullies - he is already fairly adept at strategizing and defending himself and gaining respect, the film doesn't show him really learning anything except in the end when he becomes a hippie, but that was a twist you could spot a mile away. At one point in the film, a bunch of kids band together to form a rag tag instant success story - again, under Ender's perfect command, these supposed losers just win their first battle effortlessly. I mean, I suppose Ender was more or less the "perfect" character, and at the end of the film he gets a whole armada to play with as a reward for his perfectness, but again an example of a lack of character development. If there's one thing I could change about the film, it's more "bling" and less preaching. Harrison Ford's lack of humanity is made super obvious, some scenes were not only boring but also unnecessary such as the explanation of face-paint guy's face-paint, nobody cares! That said, the special effects are decent, the initial earth defense scene was cool because I like fighter jets, spaceship physics are somewhat "realistic" and there's some really intriguing zero-G scenes, so despite all the film's flaws I think that this film ranks right up there with the classics, and all their flaws.
Interesting little flick involving matters of time travel and fate
Let me start by saying that you sort of figure out the big "reveal" 2/3rds of the way in, even though the climax is way closer to the end of the film due to the film-makers giving out too much clues, so you spend the next 20 minutes waiting for the inevitable, and the moment that I think the film-makers intended to be the actual climax was just meh.
It's a well made movie though with an interesting story that's not too hard to follow, built upon the premise of time travel. As a sci-fi nerd I didn't find anything about the concepts involved particularly remarkable, those familiar with time travel paradoxes etc will not be intrigued (but after all it is a movie adaptation of an old Heinlein novel so don't expect any revolutionary new concepts) While the twist was sort of predictable, an overview of the big picture still causes some amazement in its elegant construction, the kind of revelation you get when you first saw the twist to The Usual Suspects. However like The Usual Suspects, there are actually a few major things about the story that don't quite make sense when you actually think about it, so I would suggest not thinking about it - time travel films never make sense anyway because the concept itself is flawed.
One of the great things about the film is its affirmation of determinism (which I suppose is reflected in the title), which reasonable people like myself will find pleasing to note. The film is bold in its approach and it doesn't shy away from sex and violence, plus it doesn't contain the typical family friendly Hollywood free will clichés, which is refreshing. There's also a darn weird aspect to the romance in the story that makes you go "whaaaaaa", you'll understand when you see it.
The actors themselves are decent, definitely delivering a believable performance, the style of magic is clean and simplistic without any technobabble, and the movie is overall top notch. While I am kinda dismissive about the film because I hate time travel, it still deserves a solid 7 for its execution.
People not too familiar with the Time Travel genre will definitely find the film intriguing and thoughtful, and while the final reveal was predictable, the various small twists scattered throughout the film were pleasantly surprising, and I would recommend this film to anyone who wants to see a good movie.
The Siege (1998)
Let's not talk about 9/11.
Let's not talk about all the great points about freedom this film makes, let's not be captain obvious.
I think what we need to focus on here is the theater, and this is good theater: very action packed and filled with drama.
It contains all the elements: romance, humor, shooting, mystery, suspense, terrorism, clever film techniques, Denzel Washington AND bad guy Bruce Willis.
The scale of the film? Unbelievable (but in a positive way), every time the film hinted at something and I was like "they're not gonna do that", but then the subsequent scene happens and for a moment I am amazed by the big budgetyness of this big budget film.
The film wasn't afraid to shy away from repeatedly murdering innocents, which is good. Although one murder in particular was too gritty, and the sort-of feel good ending couldn't make up for it, but again - in a good way.
What I didn't like was the negative portrayal of the army, that aspect of the film was clearly story driven (although I do imagine the army's intellect might have come along a bit in the past 15 or so years? heh)
Not to give away anything, but the ending also had a certain Deux Ex Machina element to it, there were probably also tons of other inconsistencies that I didn't notice, but most of them are negligible.
Verdict? This isn't your average Call of Duty patriotic circlejerk, this is a sophisticated and thoughtful reminder of what Murica's constitution was made for and why it should be upheld, and the hyperbolic hypothesis presented by this film will send chills through your spine, making you rightfully paranoid about how paranoia can affect democracy.
Also, it is really fun because there are lots of things that go boom, so you should watch it either way.
A satirical gem disguised as a cheap sci-fi flick
At first glance, you might be put off by the cheap CGI intro, and feel as if the film is a cheap ripoff version of the (1997) Original Starship Troopers movie.
While this film certainly shares the original's satire, it takes it in a different direction: Whereas Starship Troopers (1997) was a political satire, this film is a less subtle but takes on heavily over-the-top religious-political tones, its excellent script written by Edward Neumeier somewhat diminished by its poor budget and Jolene Blalock's horrendous lips, the former flaw not necessarily noticeable unless you nitpick.
In the start of the film, the federation is a war hungry atheist state a la early communist China with propaganda/infomercial broadcasts and a ban on any religious worship that leads to "sedition" or "In any way destabilizes the war effort", executing rebels and dissidents in live hangings.
From there, the film take the viewer on a wild ride: An attack on a military outpost and a group of survivors stranded on an infested planet, all leads to eventual revelations that help the federation rethink its military strategy in the war against the bugs, while the viewer can reflect on the implications.
The film is backed by an excellent soundtrack composed by Klaus Badelt, some gratuitous nudity and the most romantic kissing scene you've ever seen in a science fiction film, ever.
While the graphics feel a bit crap, action scenes are nevertheless entertaining, and the message behind the film is important. As long as you judge it beyond the merits of mindless entertainment, you will probably find it as funny, enjoyable and dare I say insightful an experience as I have.
7.9 Score Justified
IMDb has been known for the notorious ridiculous scores awarded to films that people, for whatever reason -nostalgia, fanboyism, some dumb moral in the film - decided to award films a 10/10. After all, NO film is perfect enough for a score of 10.
That said, if you were to rate Serenity a 10, I wouldn't blame you. Because it is awesome (for the most part).
Visually, the spaceship scenes are not too impressive- What you'd expect from a modern (2013) video game. But they are real enough for a suspension of disbelief. The film is up to feature film standards, nothing to complain about.
For the storyline, while being slightly annoyed at the character's constant refusal to say "goddam", I still appreciate the naturalism employed by the film - it for the most part doesn't shy away from boldly murdering people on camera, and the violence, dark atmosphere and harsh mature realism is a refreshing experience compared to the conventional PG-13 pollution. While I personally had already watched the TV series before watching the film, I can safely say that this film is like the Han Solo film you always wanted - can't give away the plot but I can say that the film would have done equally well under a Star Wars license using Star Wars characters.
There are some plot holes, but nothing the film can't bluff its way out of if it tried. And the film only gets better with the context of the TV series which I highly recommend watching before you watch Serenity.
The acting is alright, the fight scenes are pretty mediocre. One thing that's always bothered me throughout both Firefly and Serenity is that the Chinese language is never used normally, always used when a character is presumably using strong language or frustrated or trying to put emphasis on something, almost as if Chinese were a native language that characters revert to when they aren't calm enough to speak civilized. Yet the Chinese pronunciations are about as spot on as accidental U.S. drone strikes on civilians, I have trouble understanding what characters are saying and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I myself am Chinese.
Anyway. It's got flaws, that's why I personally only rate it a 7. Still more than you can say for any other Sci-Fi film past or present. While personally Starship Troopers replaced Star Wars a long time ago, I am sure that you will find Serenity a place in your heart where Star Wars once was, and be so overwhelmed with its awesomeness that you too will rate the film a 10/10.
Bailout: The Age of Greed (2013)
Best Sequel to Rampage (2007) Ever!
Like many people, I loved Rampage (2007). I'd never thought there'd be another film like it.
Then I slapped myself in the face, because I realized it's Uwe Boll, and Uwe Boll KICKS ASS.
If you liked Rampage, you'd love this one. Acting, drama, and the most kick ass action scene in a movie - I dare say - ever, along with the non-cliché-ness that is unmatched, makes for a overall satisfying viewing experience.
Of course several of the plot twists were predictable, as well as the re-hashing of old jokes was a bit annoying, but it makes up for it by bringing us a RELEVANT sequel to Rampage, and if you haven't seen Rampage then shame on you, it's a brilliant film.
As for the politics, I personally couldn't care less but I imagine it'd be relatively well researched, anyway that's probably not the point of Assault on Wall Street.
The point is that unlike stock brokers and Hollywood, this is a 100% no bullsh*t enjoyable film that (I think?) doesn't pretend to be too serious.
WATCH THIS, and be happy that there is still some good alternatives to traditional Hollywood sh*t. Solid recommendation.
More like Flushpoint
Forgive my language. Firstly I'm a bit concerned about the lack of bad language. Okay they're ferggin gang members, they don't have to concern themselves with the use of goddamn obscenities. I know this show is trying to be "realistic" and all but the overuse of "clean" language in the show undermines the immersion a LOT.
The PG rating is about as bad as it gets for a show about crime, cause let's face it- life itself is NC-17- and crime ain't exactly the PG end of the spectrum. You wake up, take a *pee, look down at your penis, boom- R-rating. Forcing a PG rating on a show clearly not meant to be PG is just wrong.
General structure is pretty boring, predictable and unsettling too. Generally each episode starts with a misleading prologue, but the second after the intro video rolls you see the "criminals", mostly good people doing bad things because of circumstances, and then the cops intervening and acting like giant d*cks half the time that make you hate them. In fact 80% of the time I found myself rooting for the "bad guys", and getting angrier and angrier every time the self-righteous cops kill them. I dunno if this were done on purpose or just bad writing, but if you're making me hate the show then good job you've succeeded. I can sorta see why the show got cancelled, and all I can say is - good.
there's not much story development leading into the resolving of the crime - the cops make pretty damn good predictions every time (tsk tsk writers), and then then the cops escalate the situation and foiled the perfectly well intentioned plan, but it is justified because there's a big emotional dramatic intervention before something either goes horribly wrong or luckily right depending on whether or not the writers feel like it (or if the "criminal" in question is a big Russian sniper war hero who defended his village against tyranny, motivated by emotionally-justified revenge).
And then the damn epilogue-song thing determined to make you feel emotional in the aftermath of a lame episode. It gets old after a while, trust me- I've already been desensitized to violence, to drug use, to bad language, and now Flashpoint is all like "nope screw you, hope you enjoy having your emotions desensitized as well", because out of all the 20 something episodes I've watched so far, only a few of them could almost silence my scoff. Almost.
Also, yeah... err the token replacement thing is just silly. The only girl member gets shot, so they replace her with another girl member. The black dude dies, and they replace him with a black girl. Great non- tokening you guys
And since it's about glorifying the police (some of which come from military), so there's this whole patriotic theme that'll annoy you if you're not into the whole "let's make love to our country until mud and worms get stuck on our naughty bits" thing.
In the end, it's still pretty addicting, and despite its flaws you forgive it like the abused wife forgiving her abusive husband, secretly enjoying the awful slaps flashpoint sends your way because this is the first non-sitcom TV show you've ever watched, and if you like silly bedtime stories then an episode a night is perfect for you.
In fact, use Flashpoint as a sitcom, imagine everything is satirical. That'll ease the painful experience that is getting hooked on Flashpoint.
STOP watching after the crash scene!!!
The film starts with a potentially brilliant beginning: Denzel Washington, kick-ass pilot, makes one of the best most awesome moments involving airplanes to ever happen to the film industry.
I have to say that after the crash scene, the film was pretty much the saddest most depressing film ever. And not in the way the film maker would've liked it to be, but rather in a way that just sucks.
The description says "An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.", however descriptions can be misleading. When I prepared myself for watching this film, I thought "something troubling" had something to do with terrorists or sinister plots etcetera.
But no. There's no more flying after the crash scene. In fact, no exciting things happen at all after the crash scene, everything is just boring, predictable and really no different from watching someone talk about his salvation in church, because what follows is a miserable hour of watching a "alcoholic" ruin the rest of his life in an attempt to look inspirational and dramatic so that the film could get a good rating.
Bottom line is that the first part of the film up to the crash is really a scene you cannot miss, so watch it. After that, stop watching, leave the theater, turn off your CD player, and walk away.
Death Race: Inferno (2013)
Moderately fun and entertaining. Watch it.
I just wanna open by saying I hate people who don't judge content by context, and in context, I thought this film was pretty sweet. Yes, there is the continuity problem and some extent of continuity problems- but come on, its a death race movie. Of course Death Race is crap if you judge it by normal movie standards, but death race is death race, man! And while this third installment wasn't a masterpiece, it still delivered enough entertainment for me to go "that was worth it". There's also that ending which, while some might say are cliché or cheesy or "Hollywood endings", I personally thought was awesome. Minus the ultra- numerous plot holes and impossible Hollywood stuff that happens because entertainment conflicts with realism, plus the constant bitching from Danny Trejo and Tanit Pheonix about friendship and deceit is really cheesy and annoying and cheesy and annoying, the only problem I got with this film is that Fred Koehler annoyed the crap outta me with that god awful character "Lists" and the things Lists says which is, as I mentioned before, annoying. However overall, this is a nice finish for a Death Race trilogy, if you bothered to see the first two you might as well see this as well. And yes, let's hope they don't make Death Race #4.
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
Lesser of the four, but not bad
Lethal Weapon concludes the series with old people acting like old people. This installment contains Chris Rock. What I found disturbing was that while some people may welcome his character, the film seems to have to let you know its Chris Rock by having him do some very annoying one liners. That I did not like. Another thing that goes against all logic- the characters have had their families held hostage/attacked in the same house at least 4 times, but they still don't move. It really bothers me that cops - who've angered some major criminals - and every major criminal uses their family to their advantage - still choose not to move to a less known place. This I do not like. Other than that, this was a fun, entertaining film.
Why can't a film have near-perfect characters, for once?
Now I realize that lawless is "based on" an imperfect human story. In which one of the most important objects is alcohol. So it would be realistic for characters to bear alcohol-induced irrationality. But as far as I'm concerned, this is an action film, and I don't know about others, but I watch films to be entertained, and this film was way too annoying to be entertaining. Even in the beginning, I wanted to jump into the screen and warn the protagonists: "if you don't do what this dangerous bad guy says, you're gonna walk out of this alive- but barely. And your friends will be greatly harmed." Because we all know that films with smart calculating protagonists who do a good job of minimizing casualties are not entertaining (sarcasm).
This film does a great job getting on my nerve with the fruity emotional all-American story-line.
For once, I'd like to see the hero be the backstabber (I know it's not batman-ethical but it is the better way to solve this). For once, I'd like to see a character make effort to actually solve an emotional breakdown by yelling or slapping, or just simply help the person with emotional breakdown do what he is supposed to do. For once, I'd like to see the bad guy kill the wimp instead of allowing the wimp to recover and in return, kill the bad guy. For once, I'd like to see characters practicing ultra-extreme caution when they've offended a major criminal, instead of making silly mistakes such as leading the bad guys to their secret hideout.
Now, one thing I really wanted to see was for the protagonist to exercise his revenge by coolly making accurate shots to the bad guy's chest, instead of getting shot. Speaking of shooting, the action scenes in this film are really just okay, not superb but not bad either.
The film makes it difficult to like and sympathize with most of the main characters, because most of them were f***ing ***holes. In the first half of the film, I honestly did not care if the good guys had been completely wiped out.
Verdict: This film is worth the watch. Barely. If you want a film about idiots maiming each other, there you go. But this film would be much more watchable if the emotional crap were cut out and replaced with more shooting.
Total Recall (2012)
A total blast I will not recall
I have not seen the original Total Recall, so I went in the theater unbiased, thus will be my review. Frankly, I loved it. Total Recall (2012) is good entertainment- a brilliant action film with (I presume) stunning visual effects, an interesting idea and (thank god) a decent story-line. Total Recall tells the story of Colin Farrell finding out that he is not Arnold Swasticanagger, and in a un-inceptiony dream that is not a dream, does a lot of cool action stuff, meets a 3-boobed prostitute and finds out who he really is- a good actor... I thought the acting was decent. As for all that futuristic car driving, frankly, I personally think the action involved is much better than Inception, but then again nobody compares Inception with the remake of Total Recall. There is in whole not a lot to complain about in this film, although I would have liked the intense tension-filled scenes to be replaced by swift decisive action, but no director ever does that. A underrated gem in today's dark age of bad films, Total Recall is a great film to see if you haven't seen the original (statement based on mediocre reviews from those who have seen the original), and whatever the ticket price is, it's worth it. Of course, it's not awesome enough to make you see it again and again, but you will enjoy it throughout the brief 2 hours you watch it.
The Watch (2012)
Regret watching this on a weekday
A watchable film. Does have humor, but neither smart like South Park nor LOL-inducing. Cheesy and predictable, but somehow entertaining- nevertheless. The film seems to be a unhappy mash-up of different film genres, with too little of everything. For me, the special effects budget didn't really show, the alien animations were good and the concept of a neighborhood watch fighting aliens seemed to be good, but the film is a film with Ben Stiller in it, and you just really cannot expect much from any Ben Stiller film. One thing I felt that made this film okay, was that one of the film's key turning points (where the British dude is revealed to be an alien) made the film seem like Avatar 2, or any "white people betray their own to help natives their invading film", except that it's reverse, where aliens help humans fight their own race due to some magical encounter with the natives (in this case, a local orgy). However, I was really disappointed when the protagonists decided to go stop the alien transmission from being sent (if you haven't seen the film, now you know the whole story). It would have been interesting though if the protagonists went with the British alien's advice and hid out in the deserts. Anyways, this is again one of those time killing films, so if you have nothing important to do, watch this film to kill time.
Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
Decent... but not good enough
Don't get me wrong- the film was okay, compared to some other recent films. I was able to sit through the entire thing. Portions of the film were entertaining. Portions of the film were funny. But here are the facts: The film is about British Grandparents being able to beat zombies while the rest of the city gets eaten alive. The film is about heavily armed cops getting mowed down while (initially) lightly armed idiots survive. This film is about saving the lives of useless old people by risking that of the useful. The film is about wasting ammo even after safety has been secured. Personally, I found most of the film to be cheesy in a annoying way, and especially the part where an old lady smiles at a young man and the young man is like "I'm getting lucky tonight", that's just in bad taste. Personally, I could not welcome the black stereotype, especially when it was British-black. Besides, I really thought that the theme about the black man and his shotgun "Tracy" would last. But what annoyed me most was the old man saying stuff about taking England back from the zombies. One would think that if 99% of England is has become zombies, then it should be justified for England to become zombies, because ownership doesn't transfer though the lack of a soul. The acting was okay, everything crappy I blame the script- the overuse of our good friends "fvck" and "shjt" had a negative effect on the film's level of entertainment. Anyways, time for the verdict: Watch it if you're English, see it if you've got time on your hands you don't know how to spend (note: I am one of those who did not really like Shawn of the dead... so you can decide for yourself whether my judgement is trustworthy.)
The Campaign (2012)
This is one of the funniest feature films I've seen in a long time. It is what I would call a genuine comedy film, in which the majority of the first 75% of the film will have you literally laughing out loud. The plot was captivating, and acting was fairly decent, and the ending was kinda cheesy but decent nevertheless, although I would find certain R-rated scenes involving midget women quite disturbing...
The movie manages to make a political satire without the distinguishing of the liberal/conservative/democrat/republican factor in its jokes, which many political satires specifically exploit with political stereotypes. It mainly focuses on politics itself and hence the "America, Jesus, Freedom", which is an emotional exploit commonly used by both sides of the argument. Of course the southern accent was just typical of its setting (I would suspect), but there is just something welcoming about the heavy southern thing that cowboys do to the English language that adds to the comedy.
In terms of drama, you do laugh a lot, but you do not get emotional enough at points where the directors would have wanted you to (such as the scenes where certain characters break down), therefore the emotional points should not be taken too seriously. In the satire department, it offers nothing fancy in comparison to what other films already have, despite the better emphasis on the "degenerate public" thing where polls go higher if candidates do something controversial.
Being Chinese, I did find the "Chinese dog" and the whole "China corporation take over America" thing a bit offensive, but I guess it's still in good health if I can squeeze off a laugh at the remark.
Verdict: Overall, this is a very hilarious comedic film, not very dramatic, has a lot of gags and puns, has satire but nothing fancy, and the heavily inbred southern accent is a welcome change from the typical "normal English" in most films. See it, laugh it, love it.
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
A good drama that will leave you wide-mouthed
I would give this film a higher rating, but I can't say I loved it. The film seems to not have a general purpose to it. It might be about time travel, it might be about friendship, or weird people. It might be about comedy (however I personally find little laughable issues in this film), or it might be about science fiction but I don't really see that theme getting integrated into the film really well. One thing for sure, this film is good drama. Not exciting drama, but probably appropriate to the audiences of conventional stage drama where there's lots of talking, little or no intense scenes and only a few characters. However, the film is really something that gets you to think, to guess if "Kenneth" is really nuts or otherwise. It plays with your mind by offering you a paranoid character that is completely delusional, but at the same time convincingly real. I personally came to the conclusion that the film would come to a disappointing ending when I found out that the time machine was a wooden boat. And when it actually worked, I was like "what the f___ just happened?" Anyways, verdict: This film is entertaining, awkward and will keep you watching. If you like drama, then this film is for you. But don't expect something really beautiful that will leave you crying on the way home. If you like comedy, get ready to smile at a few things and frown at others. If you like Sci-fi, you might find small aspects of this film entertaining (such as the discussion of time travel stuff in the beginning), but the magic realism will not be the best quality of the film Star Wars fans are looking for.
Flawed characters and plot, very little or no action. Perfect for memes.
"A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race."
A team of explorers find the origins of mankind- took them 5 minutes. I dunno about 'darkest corner', but the journey to the planet- 5 more minutes.
"Terrifying battle" - 5 minutes. Only 15 minutes of an hour and a half live up to the ad. Not to mention the film had very little to do with actual Prometheus. What's up with that?
And I expected more and slightly bigger guns- after all, you're on a mission to meet life forms, right? But even more than that, I expected more action. there's literally only one short scene with totally un- entertaining handguns, and there's literally only one other short scene where there's an explosion. Uh-uh, not good at all.
And as for terrifying- to be honest, some scenes had startled me, but I was never terrified for one second. I was too busy getting annoyed at the completely delirious flaws made by the characters.
What the crew of the Prometheus displayed were a complete lack of professionalism, and the characters are so stupid you can spot a meme in the film every five minutes. But I understand why this film got a 7.3 (as of October 2012, and I hope this figure drops)- IMDb hat lots of films that get high ratings not for being films, but for being appealing to a certain political or(non) religious agenda. This is such a case of bad movie w/ good ratings.
Verdict: Graphics are okay, I guess, but due to the poetic nature of them dumb directors there weren't roller coaster scenes, making the use of 3D less necessary. And I don't care how okay the acting (maybe) is, the characters themselves were horrible. Watch this film to relive your childhood mentality where everything makes sense.
Hope this destroys family guy
I hate Family Guy. Even more, I hate American dad. It's just the some old "life lessons" over and over again that we don't need and don't want. Feature films- on the other hand, Seth was made for this. A cliché often used in Family Guy and American Dad comedy is the "degenerate friend gets you into trouble" thing which kinda gets on my nerves, but this manages to be packaged very nicely. Also, I love the film Airplane! so that's a plus. People often compare Family Guy to South Park, but the thing is, Trey and Matt are actually good at doing South Park, while Seth is so terrible at dishing out new episodes he lets his staff writers handle the job. Seth Comedy is best served in long intervals, and not in 20 episodes per season. As for the "dirty comedy" thing... personally, I think its 2012, the MPAA ratings system is there for a reason, I don't particularly endorse R-rated comedy nor hate them for being R-rated. Some scenes were funny. Others, not so. Hence the 6. Anyways, I'd recommend you see this film back home with your family on BlueRay, or with your partner or yourself, because the theater is a really annoying place to watch such a film... especially when you're in Hong Kong, where half the audience doesn't know why John appears in a pilot suit dancing to the song "stayin' alive", and they freak out over some freaky thing Ted does.